Plum Pox Virus 6K1 protein is required for viral replication and targets the viral replication complex at the early stage of infection
Cui, H., Wang, A. (2016). Plum Pox Virus 6K1 protein is required for viral replication and targets the viral replication complex at the early stage of infection, 90(10), 5119-5131. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00024-16
© 2016, American Society for Microbiology. The potyviral RNA genome encodes two polyproteins that are proteolytically processed by three viral protease domains into 11 mature proteins. Extensive molecular studies have identified functions for the majority of the viral proteins. For example, 6K2, one of the two smallest potyviral proteins, is an integral membrane protein and induces the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-originated replication vesicles that target the chloroplast for robust viral replication. However, the functional role of 6K1, the other smallest protein, remains uncharacterized. In this study, we developed a series of recombinant full-length viral cDNA clones derived from a Canadian Plum pox virus (PPV) isolate. We found that deletion of any of the short motifs of 6K1 (each of which ranged from 5 to 13 amino acids), most of the 6K1 sequence (but with the conserved sequence of the cleavage sites being retained), or all of the 6K1 sequence in the PPV infectious clone abolished viral replication. The trans expression of 6K1 or the cis expression of a dislocated 6K1 failed to rescue the loss-of-replication phenotype, suggesting the temporal and spatial requirement of 6K1 for viral replication. Disruption of the N- or C-terminal cleavage site of 6K1, which prevented the release of 6K1 from the polyprotein, either partially or completely inhibited viral replication, suggesting the functional importance of the mature 6K1. We further found that green fluorescent protein-tagged 6K1 formed punctate inclusions at the viral early infection stage and colocalized with chloroplast-bound viral replicase elements 6K2 and NIb. Taken together, our results suggest that 6K1 is required for viral replication and is an important viral element of the viral replication complex at the early infection stage.
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